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Wally Parks

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Wallace Gordon ("Wally") Parks (January 23, 1913 – September 28, 2007) was instrumental in establishing drag racing as a legitimate amateur and professional motorsport. He was the Founder, President, and the Chairman of the Board of the National Hot Rod Association, or better known by the acronym NHRA. Parks was also an accomplished automobile writer and hobbyist, and co-founder and first editor of the magazine Hot Rod in the late 1940s. He was also instrumental in the founding of Motor Trend magazine in 1948. As editor of Hot Rod, he began to promote safety in the organization of Drag racing, both in the magazine and by organizing "safety safaris," which taught drag racing organization and safety at several tracks around the country. This was the first concerted effort in getting racers off the streets and into controlled race tracks.

In 1951, he founded the National Hot Rod Association, which stands today as the largest motorsports sanctioning body in the world, and became its head for several decades after leaving the magazine business. His wife, Barbara, who preceded him in death in 2006, worked for the NHRA as its Chief Secretary in its formative years.

Prior to his death, he was Chairman of the Board of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California.

Winners of National Hot Rod Association national events are awarded a trophy statue nicknamed the "Wally."

AwardsEdit

He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1993 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1992.

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